The Eagle and the Dragon

The task of a modern African nation is to steer two opposing winds and somehow navigate the storm to a better tomorrow. Africa is still in the shadow of Asia. It is believed that 2050, could be Africa’s century and most of that will be due to cooperation with China and India.

The task of a modern African nation is to steer two opposing winds and somehow navigate the storm to a better tomorrow.

Africa is still in the shadow of Asia. It is believed that 2050, could be Africa’s century and most of that will be due to cooperation with China and India.

What we are seeing at the moment is one of the most revolutionary moments in history, and it is happening live on TV.

The Arab Spring crisis and the Euro crisis are going to change global dynamics forever; the root cause of these crises is that the populous no longer believe that the political classes represent their interests.

Greece has 12 million, roughly the same population as Rwanda, and it will receive around US$300 billion of bailout funds.

The whole aid budget to one billion Africans is US$100 billion, the truth is the Euro is economically bankrupt but is kept alive by political capital alone.

Hence, the money given out is just random zeroes with no tangible worth. Money used to have value, it used to be a piece of paper representing gold or silver reserves but now it is debt, if you can create a debt structure within your economy, you can be rich for a while.

The European leaders thought that political consensus can override basic economic rules.

Whilst the power of Europe is waning, the Chinese are biding their time and they will even bail out the Euro as they own 30 percent of the bonds.

A Chinese embassy official once remarked that Rwanda has never voted against China in any international body, the interests of the two nations somehow align.

The skill of international diplomacy is to revere the king, while befriending the prince who shall be king. Meanwhile, I wonder what will happen if we change our society to fit western norms only to find we have to change again for the Chinese.

There are one million Chinese workers in Africa. Even at the height of colonialism, there were only a few hundred thousand Europeans in Africa.

There was an accident some years ago in which some Chinese workers died in Western Rwanda, and many Rwandans lost Chinese friends they worked with.

The question always asked is whether the relationship is mutually beneficial or exploitative, and some will point to cheap Chinese imports killing African industry.

The rise of transport costs will make it expensive to import. Soon, many of these cheap plastics will be made here instead and African will re-industrialise once energy needs can be assured.

So, while China’s economic power is undeniable, their cultural influence is limited but growing and Europe and America still have the cultural power.

Normally, a superpower is both economic and culturally powerful, but Western culture will dominate while China is the paymaster.

If we change our ways to suit the present, then what about tomorrow? Shall we have to keep changing? It is predicted that there will be five million Chinese in Africa by 2020 and that will have more impact than colonialism.

Colonialism ceased just as it started to be profitable. But the Chinese will be the true benefactors as they relay the old train tracks, and rebuild the bridges left behind.

ramaisibo@hotmail.com

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